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Government announces £200m investment in UK space industry

16 July 2013

Reaction Engines' Sabre rocket gets £60m as part of a £200m injection of government funds into the UK’s space sector. Astrium is awarded £134m contract.

The Sabre engine
The Sabre engine

Science minister David Willetts announced the new funding on Tuesday (July 16) at the UK Space Conference in Glasgow.

Sabre is a British-designed rocket engine that could revolutionise air travel and reduce the cost of reaching space. Built by UK company Reaction Engines, the technology has the potential to create 21,000 high value engineering and manufacturing jobs, maximise the UK’s access to a £13.8 billion launcher market and drive growth in related technology areas.

The UK based operation of space technology company Astrium has been awarded a £134m contract to develop instruments for the next generation of weather satellites. This is a direct result of increased UK investment in the European Space Agency (ESA) and will be led by a team at the company’s Portsmouth site.

Commenting on the Astrium investment, David Willetts said the substantial contract shows that the UK’s increased investment in the European Space Agency is already paying dividends. "It confirms our space industry’s world-class position and will see Astrium working with other leading businesses, scientists and engineers to develop cutting edge satellite technology."

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